I know I’ve often spoken about having owned a showroom, and selling it when I became a mother, but I’m not sure if I ever mentioned how I got my start in the fashion industry. Growing up, I was always obsessed with fashion, so when it came time to apply to colleges, I only applied to the Fashion Institute Of Technology, in New York City. On my first day of college, a friend happened to mention a job opportunity that she knew about, at the Laundry by Shelli Segal storefront, in SoHo. Initially, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some extra cash, so it was a no brainer to take the position, while I was a full time student.
As it turns out, I worked and took classes around the clock, without a day off, with the exception of a few vacation days for two full years. This left me extremely burned out, but I loved the idea of making money, so I decided that in my third year of college, I would work full time, and schedule my classes all at night. At that point, my dream job was to move from the Laundry store, into their showroom, but no positions were available. Determined to move up, I took lots of interviews, and even took two jobs I absolutely hated, quitting each after only a week. Finally, after three months of bouncing around, Laundry called to offer a spot that had just opened in the showroom. It was only the receptionist, but I was willing to do anything to get a foot in the door. From there, I worked hard, moving my way up to a sales assistant, and eventually an account executive. It was that position that opened my eyes, offering me the tools I needed for the fashion business. With those building blocks, and working along side extremely success women, one of which is still my dearest friends, helped my career flourish.
Eventually, I left Laundry by Shelli Segal, moving to Earl Jeans. My new job shifted my sales territories from east coast to west coast, opening up a new world of travel and contacts. After a couple of years, I fostered relationships with many designers, and decided it was time to open my own showroom. Looking back on all of this, I am proud of that determination and focus, and I acknowledge how lucky I was to have the tools and resources. After a luncheon a few weeks ago with TracFone and Dress for Success, and their program Success is Calling, I learned that many women do not have the same luck or resources when it comes to finding a job, or even choosing a career path. With these issues in mind, TracFone and Dress for Success in 2015 developed their Success is Calling program, to help women navigate the critical first step to employment; the phone interview. 85 percent of HR managers and working professionals say that first impressions made via phone interviews follow the applicant through the entire interview process.
As part of the Success is Calling program, TracFone is offering participants a new smartphone, with one year of service, to support them as they prepare to enter the workplace. Last year, the majority of the 300 graduates of the Success is Calling program in 2015 landed a job. During the month of April, TracFone will donate 20 percent of its handset sales at Walmart, up to $525,000, to Dress for Success to help empower women to build successful careers.
You can make a difference and be involved by purchasing a TracFone handset at Walmart. TracFone offers affordable phones from leading manufacturers, such as LG and Samsung, and airtime service plans starting as low as $19.99 for 90 days. For more information on Success is Calling™, interview tips and graduate testimonials, visit TFSuccessisCalling.com.